Green Design Predictions for 2013

Read the full story at Inhabitat.

2012 was a momentous year and we saw many significant changes, of both triumphs and failures. But as we embark upon this brand new year, we do so with optimism and hope that 2013 wil give rise to a better, more sustainable future. So now that the toasts have been made and Auld Lang Syne has come to a stop, we’re turning to some of the world’s leading environmental experts and design luminaries to offer us their predictions for 2013. Touching upon everything from climate change to technology to automotive, design and more, read on for what our eleven pundits envision for the coming year.

Do Environmental Regulations Disproportionately Affect Small Businesses? Evidence from the Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures Survey

Download the paper.

It remains an open question whether the impact of environmental regulations differs by the size of the business. Such differences might be expected because of statutory, enforcement, and/or compliance asymmetries. Here, we consider the net effect of these three asymmetries, by estimating the relationship between plant size and pollution abatement expenditures, using establishment-level data on U.S. manufacturers from the Census Bureau’s Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures (PACE) surveys of 1974-1982, 1984-1986, 1988-1994, 1999, and 2005, combined with data from the Annual Survey of Manufactures and Census of Manufactures. We model establishments’ PAOC intensity – that is, their pollution abatement operating costs per unit of economic activity – as a function of establishment size, industry, and year. Our results show that PAOC intensity increases with establishment size. We also find that larger firms spend more per unit of output than do smaller firms.

A Bumper Crop of Waste Diversion: Ford’s Recycling Program at 10 Years

Read the full story at Triple Pundit.

Their environmental impact is huge, yet automobiles are products that have a high recycling rate at the end of their use. Ford Motor is one company that has ramped up its recycling efforts in recent years. In fact, since 2003, the automaker claims that it has prevented 120 million pounds of damaged car parts alone–through both recycling and remanufacturing.

Triple Pundits’ 2012 year in review stories

Triple Pundit has several interesting year in review stories, including:

Utah adopting Calif.-style rules for air pollution

Read the full story from the Associated Press.

As Utah’s air quality worsens, state regulators are working on a set of plans to limit everyday emissions, from banning the sale of aerosol deodorants and hair spray to prohibiting wood burning in fireplaces more often.

Regulators say dozens of new rules will take effect by August for 2 million of Utah’s residents along the Wasatch Front. Utah could lose federal highway funds if it doesn’t start reducing pollution along the urban corridor by December 2014.

The new regulations will force California-style changes in consumer products, with spray pumps replacing aerosols or aerosols switching to environmentally friendly propellants. Likewise, regulators are tightening limits on volatile organic compounds in paints, coatings and solvents — local factories and car-repair shops will have to buy reformulated products or install special emissions controls.

Why some NYC buildings are more efficient than LEED-certified ones

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Some of New York City’s oldest buildings are more energy efficient than LEED-certified buildings.

Although the recently built 7 World Trade Center trumpets its LEED-Gold rating to lure renters, it isn’t as efficient as the Chrysler Building, which was constructed in the 1930s.

While 7 World Trade Center gets an Energy Star score of 74 — just below the minimum allowed for that certification — the Chrysler building scores 84, thanks to extensive efficiency upgrades. The Empire State Building has a score of 80.

That’s because old structures tend to have thicker walls, fewer windows and less ventilation. They also don’t lend themselves to massive data centers that consume lots of electricity.

The 12 most popular GreenBiz stories of 2012

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

What did GreenBiz readers read in 2012? Stories about big consumer-facing companies were popular. Like most people, you were attracted to tension and drama — whether the plastics industry would kill LEED, for example, why Starbucks’ sustainability scorecard was a half-empty cup, or why sustainability executives should shun the S-word. Here’s what else you read.